Witherscape - The Inheritance

The Inheritance
Century Media
Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, Bloodbath etc.) is a very successful and well-respected musician, multi-instrumentalist & producer in the metal scene. I think there’s no need to say more for if you’re into the “extreme metal” scene then Dan’s name is way too familiar. His newest project is called Witherscape, and we see Dan along with Ragnar Widerberg (guitars, bass) taking the responsibility for the album’s music. Another well-known musician, Paul Kuhr (Novembers Doom, Subterranean Masquerade, These Are They) has taken care of the album’s lyrical concept and he also sings in “Astrid Falls” (along with Joel Selsfors on Moog synth), & “The Wedlock Observation” (along with Morten Møller Jørgensen on vocals).
“The Inheritance” is not an easy-listening album. It features elements from all Dan’s past works… how couldn’t it after all? The final outcome is a bit “weird” as at times the blending of the diverse music genres is not so successful, at least to my ears. This album blends death metal, prog rock (70s), heavy metal, melodic hard rock, atmospheric & acoustic elements. The death “growls” are present in every song so there’s no “mainstream” thing at all for those who would think that Dan has become popish or what. I like the 70s prog rock themes a lot but then, out of nowhere, the brutal vocals ruin the whole album atmosphere (not always though) cause they are not used very effectively in every track. The ideas are there, the progressive feeling is all over the album but I do not believe this work would get the interest of the prog rock & metal devotees who like heavy melodic music with clean vocals due to the brutal ones and vice versa… the death metal maniacs won’t be very glad with the clean vocals as well. The Opeth, Amorphis, Edge of Sanity & Katatonia influences among others, will give you a hint of what you’re about to experience here but listening to a few tracks is always the best way to draw conclusions on your own. By the way, the production is simply awesome… it’s hard for Mr. Dan to go wrong don’t ya think?!
At the end of the day, “The Inheritance” does leave a good taste but I can’t call this a masterpiece, neither will it bring the “apocalypse” in the music world. It’s by far a solid album but it’s also a tad “weird”. Also, I don’t really fancy the use of the ala Hetfield vocals now and then. Surely, it’s almost impossible for Dan to release something bad or crappy but I’m sure he can do so much better than this…